Petrified lightning

Sand turned into glass by a lightning strike can provide clues about ancient climates.

By Emily Sohn, 00:00 AM February 16, 2007

Lightning has amazing powers. One bolt heats the air to 30,000 degrees C. That's five times as hot as the surface of the sun. Lightning can frighten pets and kids, start fires, destroy trees, and kill people.

 

Lightning also has the power to make glass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When lightning strikes the ground, it fuses sand in the soil into tubes of glass called fulgurites.

 

When lightning strikes the ground, it fuses sand in the soil into tubes of glass called fulgurites.

 

L. Carion/Carion Minerals, Paris

When a bolt of lightning strikes a sandy surface, the electricity can melt the sand. This melted su...

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